Since his childhood, Mathias Schergen has been intuitively drawn to the visual complexities of the world around him. The patterns, textures, shapes, colors, and spatial and compositional relationships found in domestic interiors and the urban landscape are the aesthetic foundation of his work.

Schergen roams the alleys, railroad prairies, industrial parks, and truck depots that permeate his neighborhood. From these places, he finds and collects indigenous materials that he uses to make the stuff he calls art. Discarded household items, drift wood, branches, exotic bits of hardware, broken signs, and debris from cars found along curbs are manipulated, incorporated, and repurposed into assemblages, shadowboxes, and fabric collages that attempt to reimagine the visual conventions of established art forms through subversive imitation.

Schergen’s work is a seamless hybrid that integrates the intuitive aesthetic and self-taught techniques of his childhood with the disciplined studio practice and creative identity he developed as a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he attended in the 1970’s and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and an Art Specialist K–12 Teaching Certificate. Schergen went on to receive a Master in Education at National-Louis University.

Mathias Schergen was born in 1954 and raised on the southwest side of Chicago where he still resides and has raised a family of his own.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.